The No. 1 ranked Duke Basketball team opened the 2016-17 season Friday night with a 94-49 victory over Marist.
The Blue Devils were led by their talented backcourt, with freshman guard Frank Jackson having an impressive Duke debut with a team-high 18 points, while All-American Grayson Allen had 16 points, and sophomore Luke Kennard contributed 16 points.
Despite playing without freshmen Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, who are all sidelined by injuries, Duke had no trouble taking care of Marist, jumping out to an early 12-0 lead in the game’s first three minutes and leading 54-28 at the halftime intermission.
We got a chance to see some of Duke’s impressive depth this season, as Antonio Vrankovic and Javin DeLaurier came off the bench to combine for 18 rebounds. It was also great to see Amile Jefferson back on the court for the Blue Devils after he missed most of last season due to a foot injury. The fifth year senior had a solid all-around performance with five points, nine rebounds, three blocks and one steal.
After it being a major issue last season, Duke got off to a good start with its defense, holding Marist to shooting 23-percent from the field, including just 12-percent from 3-point range.
Now, the team prepares for the quick turnaround of another game tomorrow as the Blue Devils host Grand Canyon at 5:30 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium.